My pop was a Buffalo city bus driver for 25 years. Just like millions of Americans – firefighters, nurses, teachers, and other public employees - Pop worked hard and counted on having his pension to help retire with confidence and dignity. The long-term sustainability of today’s public pension programs is just as critical to millions of Americans.
John Cherry had no job, no money, no home. What he did have were debilitating health problems and drug and alcohol addictions. “I hit rock bottom,” says the 60-year-old Washington, D.C., resident.
My pop, a city bus driver, taught me to work hard and also have fun doing it. For more than 25 years, he announced each stop on his route as if he was leading a tour, not driving a Buffalo city bus. Pop retired at the mandatory age of 70. Mom and Pop lived on their Social Security, and Pop’s modest pension income was almost entirely dedicated to pay their health insurance premium. They enjoyed their retirement years, but I know life would have been so different if Pop’s pension had been cut.
My Pop, a bus driver in Buffalo, worked until the mandatory retirement age of 70. He and my Mom lived on Social Security along with his modest pension. One Christmas, Pop couldn't get into the spirit of the season. The next day, he confided that the next year health care premium increases would consume his entire pension check, and then some. I can only imagine how my parents' lives would have been affected if Pop's pension had been cut in retirement.
So it seems that boomers and the Generation X that followed them believe a traditional retirement, the kind where you clock out of the job permanently at age 65 to travel, play golf, visit the grandkids or relocate to a sunnier destination, isn't in their future. Yet Millennials, the oldest among them in their mid 30s, are much more hopeful. They predict they'll retire at or before they reach their mid 60s, according to a survey released Wednesday by the nonprofit TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies .
You've undoubtedly heard the advice again and again: If you are close to retirement age, you should max out your contributions to employer-sponsored retirement plans.
The federal agency that insures private pensions is proposing a rule change that would add greater protection for workers who roll 401(k) money into a traditional pension.
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